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Court of Appeal allows BMA to intervene in Bawa-Gaba case

The BMA has been granted legal permission to intervene in Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s appeal to overturn her erasure from the medical register.

The doctor was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in 2015 following the tragic death of a six-year-old boy, and in January of this year a High Court ruling saw her removed from the register.

However, the decision to revoke her registration has come under fire from the profession, with groups arguing that doctors in training must be given adequate supervision, with sufficient consultant oversight of decision-making, in order to protect both junior doctors and their patients.

The Royal College of GPs also claimed that the case shook up the entire medical community, but caused “considerable anxiety” for GPs and trainees in particular. They are now worried about how the ruling might affect the way they practise in future.

Bawa-Garba’s case has since prompted health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt to order a review into how manslaughter by gross negligence is applied to medical practice.
The BMA has welcomed court’s decision and said that it will be making submissions on behalf of its members and the interests of the wider profession.

A spokesperson from the organisation said: “The BMA’s intervention will focus on, among other matters, the extent to which fitness to practice tribunals are entitled to consider evidence which has already been considered by a jury, including evidence of systemic pressures and remediation; and, how the question of maintaining public confidence in the medical profession should be considered and decided in fitness-to-practise cases which involve a criminal conviction.”


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